“Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” – John 11:25-26 (NLT)
Easter is about a month away. We all know the statistics concerning Easter and Christmas. People are more open to coming to church on Christmas and Easter than at any other time of the year. Because of that, we look at these holidays as great opportunities for outreach. Opportunities to share the gospel while giving people an opportunity to experience first hand our church environments. While it is important to “put our best foot forward,” I don’t believe this is enough to bring people back after Easter. What people want is to discover the risen Savior.
At this point in my life I am more impressed with Jesus Christ and the grace of God than ever before. As Easter approaches, I can’t help but think of Jesus, specifically his suffering in the place of all sinners. I think of Jesus’ laser focus on marching to the cross to bear the sins of the world. I think of Jesus, the one who is due all glory and honor, bearing all of my shame and dishonor, so that I might be forgiven. I think of the Son of God tasting death (“But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” – Hebrews 2.9) so that I would never have to. (“…‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.” – John 8.52).
I think of Jesus being raised from the dead to declare victory over sin and death. When I think of my Savior, I picture myself myself joining in the heavenly anthem with the Apostle John: “… and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (Revelation 1.6-7)
So here’s my challenge, but I issue it only to those of us who are followers of Jesus, whose lives have been changed, and who believe that Jesus can change other’s lives just as he did ours. There is someone around you who is sincerely wondering “Who Jesus really is?” They honestly don’t know, or what they think they know are myths and perceptions. But they have an open mind and are willing to listen. Remember that the majority of people who don’t attend church, give the same reason when they’re asked why: “No one ever asked.”
Your mission, if you would prepare for Easter in a way that will bring glory to God and transform lives, is to find that one person that you can invite. I can’t tell you who they are; but God knows, and you probably do, too: your neighbor, your colleague, maybe a brother or sister, a mother or father, maybe a close friend. Someone who hasn’t yet experienced the forgiveness, the deliverance, and the peace, that comes when you experience new life through faith in Jesus Christ. Invite him or her to one of our Northstar Church campuses.
Take some time over the next few weeks to feel what Jesus feels, by letting your heart be broken for those who are hurting, those who are wandering, those who are searching for answers to this life. I can tell you what will happen if you let yourself feel what Jesus feels: it will bring a flood of compassion for those far from the heart of God.
Counting Down To Easter
- Pray for the Easter services.
- Make a list of people you want to invite to church on Easter? Do you have a relationship with that individual(s)? Have you prayed for that individual(s)?
- Have you shared your story on how God has changed your life?
- Have you considered your role after they attend Northstar? Will you continue to pray for them?
- Pray and ask God for the wisdom to invest in the lives of others in a way that draws them to Him